(Reuters) – Highlights of Tuesday’s second day of the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the year (all times GMT):
Tennis – Australian Open – First Round – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, January 15, 2019. Romania’s Simona Halep signs an autograph after the match against Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
1140 OSAKA RACES INTO SECOND ROUND
Fourth seed Naomi Osaka produced a clinical display to beat Poland’s Magda Linette 6-4 6-2 in 58 minutes.
The reigning U.S. Open champion struck 30 winners to 16 unforced errors in a measured performance to reach the second round at Melbourne for a fourth straight year.
1115 HALEP SURVIVES KANEPI SCARE
World number one Simona Halep came back from a set down to beat Kaia Kanepi 6-7(2) 6-4 6-2, avenging her U.S. Open opening round defeat by the Estonian veteran last year.
Halep will next face American Sofia Kenin, who won her maiden WTA title at the Hobart International last week without dropping a set.
1020 DJOKOVIC EASES PAST KRUEGER
World number one Novak Djokovic needed just over two hours to beat American qualifier Mitchell Krueger 6-3 6-2 6-2 in the opening round.
The six-time Melbourne champion won 41 of 48 points on his first serve and struck 42 winners in an all-round display.
It was Djokovic’s 15th consecutive Grand Slam match win after lifting titles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open last year.
0830 DETERMINED VENUS STAYS AFLOAT
Former world number one Venus Williams was made to work hard in her opener against Romanian 25th seed Mihaela Buzarnescu but the 2017 runner-up switched gears in the decider to secure a 6-7(3) 7-6(3) 6-2 victory.
0819 AUSTRALIAN TEEN POPYRIN UPSETS MISCHA ZVEREV
Australian teenager Alexei Popyrin advanced to the second round of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career after beating Mischa Zverev 7-5 7-6(7) 6-4. The 19-year-old plays Benoit Paire or Dominic Thiem in the next round.
0648 END OF THE ROAD FOR AZARENKA
Twice Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, ranked 52 in the world, began her match against Laura Siegemund strongly but could not quell the determined German who prevailed 6-7(5) 6-4 6-2.
0629 KOKKINAKIS RETIRES WITH PECTORAL INJURY
Local hope Thanasi Kokkinakis won the opening set against Japan’s Taro Daniel before a pectoral injury forced the big-serving 22-year-old to stop with the score at 7-5 2-4.
“Hurts to watch… get better @TKokkinakis – your level is undeniable my brother. Rest up,” his fellow Australian Nick Kyrgios tweeted.
0612 BOUCHARD RELISHING TEST AGAINST ‘GREATEST-EVER’ SERENA
Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard said she was in awe of Serena Williams ahead of a second round meeting with the 23-times Grand Slam winner.
“I think she’s the greatest ever. So it’s just so cool that I’ll be able to share the court with her and an opportunity to see how I compare to one of the best players,” Bouchard said.
“Her ranking is top 20 right now, but to me she’s always number one. I admire the longevity of her career, her dominance over such a long amount of time, how she’s come back so many times from injury, pregnancy.
“I don’t want to talk about it too much and put her on too much of a pedestal because I have to play her in two days, but I
0535 CHUNG RALLIES TO BEAT KLAHN
Last year’s Australian Open semi-finalist Chung Hyeon dropped the first two sets before sealing a 6-7(5) 6-7(5) 6-3 6-2 6-4 win over American Bradley Klahn.
0500 ZVEREV OFF TO FLYER AGAINST BEDENE
ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev stamped his authority as one of the main contenders for the year’s first Grand Slam, thumping Aljaz Bedene 6-4 6-1 6-4.
The German hit 11 aces and 35 winners during a controlled display to prevail in a little under two hours.
0445 KASATKINA FALLS TO BACSINSZKY
Russian 10th seed Daria Kasatkina made a slew of mistakes in her 6-3 6-0 defeat by Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky to crash out of the tournament. Kasatkina served nine double faults and had 24 unforced errors to hand the advantage to her rival.
0440 MUGURUZA TOO GOOD FOR ZHENG
Former world number one Garbine Muguruza defeated China’s Zheng Saisai 6-2 6-3 in 75 minutes.
Muguruza, who has slipped to number 18 in the rankings after an inconsistent 2018, meets Johanna Konta in the second round after the Briton overcame local hope Ajla Tomljanovic 7-6(4) 2-6 7-6(7).
0312 NISHIKORI SURVIVES SCARE
Kamil Majchrzak had eighth seed Kei Nishikori on the ropes with a two-set lead before severe cramps in his left quadricep and right hand forced him to eventually retire from the contest.
With Majchrzak’s movement restricted, Nishikori levelled the match at two sets each and went ahead in the decider before the Polish qualifier retired with the score at 6-3 7-6(6) 0-6 2-6 0-3.
0241 MERCILESS SERENA BLASTS PAST MARIA
Serena Williams began her quest for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title with a 6-0 6-2 thrashing of Germany’s Tatjana Maria in 49 minutes to cruise into the second round.
The American next faces Eugenie Bouchard who outclassed Peng Shuai 6-2 6-1.
0143 PLISKOVA SAFELY THROUGH
Former world number one Karolina Pliskova eased past Czech compatriot Karolina Muchova 6-3 6-2 in 69 minutes to improve her record against qualifiers at all majors to 5-1.
“It’s a good start. I’m happy I saved some time on court… but it’s always tough to play a Czech girl,” Pliskova said.
“I would say I’m lucky because I’m always playing them at every tournament, so I’m happy that I’m through.”
0130 KEYS BUNDLES OUT LOCAL HOPE
American 17th seed Madison Keys, a 2015 semi-finalist at Melbourne Park, began her campaign with an easy 6-2 6-2 victory over Australian wildcard Destanee Aiava as they opened play on the main showcourt Rod Laver Arena.
Slideshow (2 Images)
The 23-year-old Keys had too much power for the highly-rated Aiava and will meet either France’s Pauline Parmentier or Russia’s Anastasia Potapova in the second round.
0010 PLAY UNDERWAY AT MELBOURNE PARK
Play got underway on schedule under sunny skies at 11 a.m. local time (0000 GMT) with the temperature hovering just under the 27 degrees Celsius mark with a forecast high of 33C.
Compiled by Greg Stutchbury, Shrivathsa Sridhar and Hardik Vyas; Editing by Frank Pingue/Greg Stutchbury/Amlan Chakraborty and Christian Radnedge
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